Couldn’t help but notice the front page article in yesterday’s RG.
I would describe it as a common and widespread misconception that work permits have ever been tied to training, except in cases where the Immigration Board has exercised fairly subjective powers by asking firms to demonstrate training initiatives vis a vis specific work permit applications.
Sounds like this might be changing, to become a more formal policy objective.
Training and more specifically “apprenticeships” in the construction industry are fairly well regulated already under the National Training Board and the several Acts associated with that body. Registering an Apprentice with the NTB mean undertaking a formal contract between the employee, the employer and the Government, with all the parties having certain rights and responsibilities to see the apprentice through formal training.
As an aside, I have always argued that this was putting the cart before the horse. Certification (i.e. being able to say “I am a certified Mason”) should be in place first and foremost. Regulations should describe what a “mason” should be able to do, training programs should be designed to meet those competencies, and then formal apprenticeships can be created to meet the end goal of certification. Currently, anyone can call themselves a ‘mason’. Why bother going through formal training? At the height of the construction boom in 2008 there were over 500 masons here on work permits. Number of mason apprentices in training at that time? Four. All of this has been in the pipeline for many years but really now is the time. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is now.
We would love to take credit for being a visionary with our “Apprenticeship Management” service that Workforce is offering (in light of the Ministry’s new position), but it’s really just dumb luck. We thought it would be handy. Now it might be very handy.
The process of entering into formal contracts with apprentices, then making sure they attend the training, and then making sure they get exposed to the right work experience at the right time, can be virtually impossible for the small to medium business owner to do effectively. And even if they could, generally their time is better spent generating revenue. Workforce is willing to do all that for you for the value of the payroll tax rebate currently being offered to registered apprentices.
No brainer if you ask me! 🙂